Creating a simple wall with property set and quantity information 1

The following recipe creates a simple wall from scratch using a templating technique to quickly populate the entity instances for the IFC project structure. Simple extrusion geometries, an IfcPropertySet and an IfcElementQuantity are added using the procedural entity instance creation functions. The script is written for a research project with Dr. Patrick Janssen in National University of Singapore. The script takes reference from the FreeCAD IFC exporter script and HelloWall miniExample.


First some helper functions are defined.

import uuid
import time
import tempfile
import ifcopenshell

O = 0., 0., 0.
X = 1., 0., 0.
Y = 0., 1., 0.
Z = 0., 0., 1.

# Helper function definitions

# Creates an IfcAxis2Placement3D from Location, Axis and RefDirection specified as Python tuples
def create_ifcaxis2placement(ifcfile, point=O, dir1=Z, dir2=X):
    point = ifcfile.createIfcCartesianPoint(point)
    dir1 = ifcfile.createIfcDirection(dir1)
    dir2 = ifcfile.createIfcDirection(dir2)
    axis2placement = ifcfile.createIfcAxis2Placement3D(point, dir1, dir2)
    return axis2placement

# Creates an IfcLocalPlacement from Location, Axis and RefDirection, specified as Python tuples, and relative placement
def create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile, point=O, dir1=Z, dir2=X, relative_to=None):
    axis2placement = create_ifcaxis2placement(ifcfile,point,dir1,dir2)
    ifclocalplacement2 = ifcfile.createIfcLocalPlacement(relative_to,axis2placement)
    return ifclocalplacement2

# Creates an IfcPolyLine from a list of points, specified as Python tuples
def create_ifcpolyline(ifcfile, point_list):
    ifcpts = []
    for point in point_list:
        point = ifcfile.createIfcCartesianPoint(point)
    polyline = ifcfile.createIfcPolyLine(ifcpts)
    return polyline
# Creates an IfcExtrudedAreaSolid from a list of points, specified as Python tuples
def create_ifcextrudedareasolid(ifcfile, point_list, ifcaxis2placement, extrude_dir, extrusion):
    polyline = create_ifcpolyline(ifcfile, point_list)
    ifcclosedprofile = ifcfile.createIfcArbitraryClosedProfileDef("AREA", None, polyline)
    ifcdir = ifcfile.createIfcDirection(extrude_dir)
    ifcextrudedareasolid = ifcfile.createIfcExtrudedAreaSolid(ifcclosedprofile, ifcaxis2placement, ifcdir, extrusion)
    return ifcextrudedareasolid
create_guid = lambda: ifcopenshell.guid.compress(uuid.uuid1().hex)

A template is defined and instantiated using local variable definitions. This quickly defines the entity instances required for the IFC project structure and the fields of the header structure.

# IFC template creation

filename = "hello_wall.ifc"
timestamp = time.time()
timestring = time.strftime("%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S", time.gmtime(timestamp))
creator = "Kianwee Chen"
organization = "NUS"
application, application_version = "IfcOpenShell", "0.5"
project_globalid, project_name = create_guid(), "Hello Wall"
# A template IFC file to quickly populate entity instances for an IfcProject with its dependencies
template = """ISO-10303-21;
FILE_DESCRIPTION(('ViewDefinition [CoordinationView]'),'2;1');
""" % locals()

# Write the template to a temporary file 
temp_handle, temp_filename = tempfile.mkstemp(suffix=".ifc")
with open(temp_filename, "wb") as f:
# Obtain references to instances defined in template
ifcfile =
owner_history = ifcfile.by_type("IfcOwnerHistory")[0]
project = ifcfile.by_type("IfcProject")[0]
context = ifcfile.by_type("IfcGeometricRepresentationContext")[0]

Subsequently, the hierarchical structure of Site, Building and Building storey is instantiated.

# IFC hierarchy creation
site_placement = create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile)
site = ifcfile.createIfcSite(create_guid(), owner_history, "Site", None, None, site_placement, None, None, "ELEMENT", None, None, None, None, None)

building_placement = create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile, relative_to=site_placement)
building = ifcfile.createIfcBuilding(create_guid(), owner_history, 'Building', None, None, building_placement, None, None, "ELEMENT", None, None, None)

storey_placement = create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile, relative_to=building_placement)
elevation = 0.0
building_storey = ifcfile.createIfcBuildingStorey(create_guid(), owner_history, 'Storey', None, None, storey_placement, None, None, "ELEMENT", elevation)

container_storey = ifcfile.createIfcRelAggregates(create_guid(), owner_history, "Building Container", None, building, [building_storey])
container_site = ifcfile.createIfcRelAggregates(create_guid(), owner_history, "Site Container", None, site, [building])
container_project = ifcfile.createIfcRelAggregates(create_guid(), owner_history, "Project Container", None, project, [site])

The wall is created with simply extrusion geometry

# Wall creation: Define the wall shape as a polyline axis and an extruded area solid
wall_placement = create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile, relative_to=storey_placement)
polyline = create_ifcpolyline(ifcfile, [(0.0, 0.0, 0.0), (5.0, 0.0, 0.0)])
axis_representation = ifcfile.createIfcShapeRepresentation(context, "Axis", "Curve2D", [polyline])

extrusion_placement = create_ifcaxis2placement(ifcfile, (0.0, 0.0, 0.0), (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), (1.0, 0.0, 0.0))
point_list_extrusion_area = [(0.0, -0.1, 0.0), (5.0, -0.1, 0.0), (5.0, 0.1, 0.0), (0.0, 0.1, 0.0), (0.0, -0.1, 0.0)]
solid = create_ifcextrudedareasolid(ifcfile, point_list_extrusion_area, extrusion_placement, (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), 3.0)
body_representation = ifcfile.createIfcShapeRepresentation(context, "Body", "SweptSolid", [solid])

product_shape = ifcfile.createIfcProductDefinitionShape(None, None, [axis_representation, body_representation])

wall = ifcfile.createIfcWallStandardCase(create_guid(), owner_history, "Wall", "An awesome wall", None, wall_placement, product_shape, None)

An IfcMaterialLayerSet is created. This is a mandatory construct for an IfcWallStandardCase.

# Define and associate the wall material
material = ifcfile.createIfcMaterial("wall material")
material_layer = ifcfile.createIfcMaterialLayer(material, 0.2, None)
material_layer_set = ifcfile.createIfcMaterialLayerSet([material_layer], None)
material_layer_set_usage = ifcfile.createIfcMaterialLayerSetUsage(material_layer_set, "AXIS2", "POSITIVE", -0.1)
ifcfile.createIfcRelAssociatesMaterial(create_guid(), owner_history, RelatedObjects=[wall], RelatingMaterial=material_layer_set_usage)

Next, an IfcPropertySet and IfcElementQuantity are instantiated. The quantities are derived from instances describing the wall above.

# Create and assign property set
property_values = [
    ifcfile.createIfcPropertySingleValue("Reference", "Reference", ifcfile.create_entity("IfcText", "Describe the Reference"), None),
    ifcfile.createIfcPropertySingleValue("IsExternal", "IsExternal", ifcfile.create_entity("IfcBoolean", True), None),
    ifcfile.createIfcPropertySingleValue("ThermalTransmittance", "ThermalTransmittance", ifcfile.create_entity("IfcReal", 2.569), None),
    ifcfile.createIfcPropertySingleValue("IntValue", "IntValue", ifcfile.create_entity("IfcInteger", 2), None)
property_set = ifcfile.createIfcPropertySet(create_guid(), owner_history, "Pset_WallCommon", None, property_values)
ifcfile.createIfcRelDefinesByProperties(create_guid(), owner_history, None, None, [wall], property_set)

# Add quantity information
quantity_values = [
    ifcfile.createIfcQuantityLength("Length", "Length of the wall", None, 5.0),
    ifcfile.createIfcQuantityArea("Area", "Area of the front face", None, 5.0 * solid.Depth),
    ifcfile.createIfcQuantityVolume("Volume", "Volume of the wall", None, 5.0 * solid.Depth * material_layer.LayerThickness)
element_quantity = ifcfile.createIfcElementQuantity(create_guid(), owner_history, "BaseQuantities", None, None, quantity_values)
ifcfile.createIfcRelDefinesByProperties(create_guid(), owner_history, None, None, [wall], element_quantity)

An opening element and window are created and associated to the wall. An opening element describes the geometry to be subtracted from the wall.

# Create and associate an opening for the window in the wall
opening_placement = create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile, (0.5, 0.0, 1.0), (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), (1.0, 0.0, 0.0), wall_placement)
opening_extrusion_placement = create_ifcaxis2placement(ifcfile, (0.0, 0.0, 0.0), (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), (1.0, 0.0, 0.0))
point_list_opening_extrusion_area = [(0.0, -0.1, 0.0), (3.0, -0.1, 0.0), (3.0, 0.1, 0.0), (0.0, 0.1, 0.0), (0.0, -0.1, 0.0)]
opening_solid = create_ifcextrudedareasolid(ifcfile, point_list_opening_extrusion_area, opening_extrusion_placement, (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), 1.0)
opening_representation = ifcfile.createIfcShapeRepresentation(context, "Body", "SweptSolid", [opening_solid])
opening_shape = ifcfile.createIfcProductDefinitionShape(None, None, [opening_representation])
opening_element = ifcfile.createIfcOpeningElement(create_guid(), owner_history, "Opening", "An awesome opening", None, opening_placement, opening_shape, None)
ifcfile.createIfcRelVoidsElement(create_guid(), owner_history, None, None, wall, opening_element)

# Create a simplified representation for the Window
window_placement = create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile, (0.0, 0.0, 0.0), (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), (1.0, 0.0, 0.0), opening_placement)
window_extrusion_placement = create_ifcaxis2placement(ifcfile, (0.0, 0.0, 0.0), (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), (1.0, 0.0, 0.0))
point_list_window_extrusion_area = [(0.0, -0.01, 0.0), (3.0, -0.01, 0.0), (3.0, 0.01, 0.0), (0.0, 0.01, 0.0), (0.0, -0.01, 0.0)]
window_solid = create_ifcextrudedareasolid(ifcfile, point_list_window_extrusion_area, window_extrusion_placement, (0.0, 0.0, 1.0), 1.0)
window_representation = ifcfile.createIfcShapeRepresentation(context, "Body", "SweptSolid", [window_solid])
window_shape = ifcfile.createIfcProductDefinitionShape(None, None, [window_representation])
window = ifcfile.createIfcWindow(create_guid(), owner_history, "Window", "An awesome window", None, window_placement, window_shape, None, None)

# Relate the window to the opening element
ifcfile.createIfcRelFillsElement(create_guid(), owner_history, None, None, opening_element, window)

The wall and windows are related to building hierarchy and the file is written to disk

# Relate the window and wall to the building storey
ifcfile.createIfcRelContainedInSpatialStructure(create_guid(), owner_history, "Building Storey Container", None, [wall, window], building_storey)

# Write the contents of the file to disk

Download the full source code of this recipe

About Kianwee Chen

Chen Kian Wee is an architecture graduate from National University of Singapore (NUS). He has previously held researcher position at NUS looking into the area of digital design tools for architects and applying optimisation algorithms to the architectural design process. His current research interest is creating an integrated design workflow for the evaluation/optimization of LowEx design exploration. He is currently a PhD student (in the finishing stages of his PhD studies) with ETH Zurich, Chair of Architecture and Building Systems, stationed in Future Cities Laboratory Singapore.

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One thought on “Creating a simple wall with property set and quantity information

  • Omar zerhouni

    I am following the recipe, but getting an error in create_ifclocalplacement part.

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “C:/Users/TOSHIBA/AppData/Roaming/JetBrains/PyCharmCE2020.2/scratches/”, line 103, in
    site_placement = create_ifclocalplacement(ifcfile)
    File “C:/Users/TOSHIBA/AppData/Roaming/JetBrains/PyCharmCE2020.2/scratches/”, line 25, in create_ifclocalplacement
    axis2placement = create_ifcaxis2placement(ifcfile, point, dir1, dir2)
    File “C:/Users/TOSHIBA/AppData/Roaming/JetBrains/PyCharmCE2020.2/scratches/”, line 17, in create_ifcaxis2placement
    point = ifcfile.createIfcCartesianPoint(point)
    File “C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3\envs\EnvPy36\lib\site-packages\ifcopenshell\”, line 83, in create_entity
    File “C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3\envs\EnvPy36\lib\site-packages\ifcopenshell\”, line 1478, in add
    return _ifcopenshell_wrapper.file_add(self, entity)
    TypeError: in method ‘file_add’, argument 2 of type ‘IfcUtil::IfcBaseClass *’

    Is the recipe still operating with the new updates ?